206 Route 35. VERONA. S. Zeno Maggiore
The Portal, the columns of which rest on lions of red marble, is
embellished with rude but interesting marble reliefs of scriptural subjects
executed by Nicolaus and Wiligelmus in 1139. In one of them Theodoric,
'degnissimo re d'ltalia', is represented as a wild huntsman speeding head¬
long to the devil. At the top of the lintels are reliefs of the months.
The doors are covered with rude reliefs in bronze.
The Interior is borne by alternate pillars and columns. In the corner
to the right is an ancient octagonal font, behind which is a fresco of S.
Zeno, dating from the 14th century. The holy-water basin, by the 1st
column to the right, rests upon the inverted capital of an antique column.
Opposite is a large ancient vase of porphyry, 28 ft. in circumference, be¬
yond which is a fine Gothic crucifix. — On the choir-screen are statues
of Christ and the 12 Apostles, of the 13th cent., in marble, some of them paint¬
ed. — The walls to the left of the choir are covered with frescoes of the 16th
cent., behind which are traces of others of the 12th; to the right are
frescoes of the 11th and 13th centuries. To the right of the steps to the
choir is an altar, on each side of which are four columns of brown
marble, resting on lions and bulls, each in one block. — To the right in
the Choir, above the crypt, is the very ancient painted marble figure of
St. Zeno, Bishop of Verona and patron-saint of fishermen (about 9th
cent.), holding his episcopal staff, from which is suspended a silver fish.
— Behind the high-altar is a fine "Picture (covered) by Mantegna (1460),
in excellent preservation, but unfortunately hung too high. On a throne
of stone in the middle of a colonnade sits the Madonna with the Infant
Christ, with angels playing on instruments at her side and on the steps.
In the left wing are SS. Peter, Paul, John, and Augustine; in the right
wing are SS. John the Baptist, Gregory, Lawrence, and Benedict. The
striking effect of this great work is enhanced by remarkably rich accesso¬
ries. (The three lower pictures are copies.)
The approach to the spacious Crypt, in accordance with the ancient
plan which has been followed in the restoration of the building, occupies
the entire width of the church. It contains the tomb of St. Zeno and
ancient sculptures and frescoes ; the capitals of the 40 columns are mediaeval,
some of them bearing the name of the sculptor.
A door in the N. aisle leads to the admirably-preserved ''Cloisters,
with elegant double columns and a projecting structure, restored (accord¬
ing to an old inscription) as early as 1123. Immediately to the right two
tombstones are recognised as pertaining to the Scaliger family by the
ladder represented on them. — On the S. side of the church is a small
disused Churchyard, whence a general view of the church with its cam¬
panile of 1045 (restored in 1120) is best obtained. At the entrance to a
disused Mausoleum, with a sarcophagus and two columns (descent by 12
steps), a stone bears the inscription, '■Pipini Italiae regis, Magni Caroli
imperatoris filii piissimi sepulcrum'. Adjacent is a very large Roman sarco¬
We next visit the S. E. Quarters of the town. To the S. E.
of the Piazza delle Erbe (p. 200) runs the Via S. Sebastiano
(PL E, 3, 4), in which a hat over the gateway of a court opposite
the Palazzo Sambonifazi is said to indicate the house of Juliet's
parents (Capuletti; p. 208). — Farther on, close to the church
of S. Sebastiano (PL F, 4) is the Biblioteca Comunale (open in
winter 9-3 and 6-9, summer 9-4), founded in 1860, which contains
numerous documents from the suppressed monasteries.
The Via Ponte Navi, the S. prolongation of the Via S. Sebastiano,
leads to the Ponte delle Navi. In this street, on the left, at the
corner of the Corticella Leoni, and built into the side of a house
rises the *Arco de' Leoni, the half of a Roman double gateway,